Due to vaccine supply delays, the European Union has stepped up pressure on the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. EU states are considering suing AstraZeneca for breach of contract. This was announced on January 26 by Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics, DW reports.
“We still hope that they will honor commitments, however all options are on the table,” the head of the country's foreign affairs agency said.
At the same time, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen at the World Economic Forum in Davos called on vaccine manufacturers that have signed contracts with the EU to fulfill their obligations. According to her, Europe has contributed billions of dollars to the development of drugs from SARS-CoV-2 "and now the companies must fulfill their obligations and supply vaccines." Von der Leyen also announced that Brussels intends to create a mechanism to control the export of vaccines outside the EU.
Officials have not confirmed publicly how big the shortfall will be, but an unnamed EU official said that deliveries would be reduced to 31m - a cut of 60% - in the first quarter of this year.
The drug firm had been set to deliver about 80 million doses to the 27 nations by March.